Not sure if anyone will read this, or if anything I have to say will ever make it to Kixeye, but it's worth at least trying. I used to be a loyal, dedicated player. Now, I really can't understand why or how anyone still plays. Below I outlined what it was like to come try playing with my old account, and then the process of starting a new account.
I've been away from this game for many years. I saw a few ads and such pop up and figured I would come back and give it another shot. After talking to a bunch of people in chat, seems like there's been a lot of people that came back after years away. Everyone had the same comments. It's almost impossible to get started back into this game and have a fighting chance.
First I decided to try with my original account. A lvl 97 base that was pretty **** good back in the day. Fleets that would flatten most bases, that destroyed everything in the FMs, that sunk ships a plenty on the open seas. Wow....nice to see everything I built, spent money on, spent countless hours, weeks, months and years building, is absolutely useless. First I had to spend hours trying to reorganize my fleets and figure out what's still useful since now certain ship types can't work together, which means all these strategic plans of building hulls of different specialties to take on all types of targets, useless. I have a bunch of 1 off ships that need full retrofits to be useful.
So I come up with about 8 or so fleets that still look like they might do alright. Send them out. One by one, they die a fiery death in minutes. These fleets that used to be able to hit targets for hours, last 15-20 seconds. 200k-500k health. Toast. Oh, and still like 8h repair like they were many years ago. Not only that, many of them can't be used to hit certain targets because they're such a low tier.
I got the free breachers, great! But...I can only hold 2 because of my dock, and I can't really hit anything with them. fun...
Then I get hit. I think I did like 1% damage to 1 ship and they flattened my defending fleet and 100% my base.
OK, so I need a complete overhaul. All my hulls, specials, weapons, retrofits, everything...is outdated. I can't build new hulls because I don't have any. The only campaigns I can get anything useful, I can't do because everything is so old. So...I'm stuck. Can't progress. Raid comes, I try again, fleets are useless because they're either such low tier, or just die instantly. Even in the lowest possible target. So how in the world is anyone supposed to get further in this game, other than joining an alliance and begging them to help you? or throwing money at all the offers of upgraded ships?
So the only thing I can actually hit, is salvages. Which haven't changed in like 5+ years. So to bring in 200M in each resource I need, I would have to spend hours gathering. And then what? I can't get blueprints anywhere, can't research anything better.
So just before the raid, I figured, it's probably because I'm a high level. So I start a new base.
I was dumbfounded to find out that absolutely every tutorial, campaign, research, etc. is exactly the same as it was many years ago. You want new players to start with the same old technology, that is useless? I'm plugging away getting nowhere fast. All the tech that is available from the start is garbage. You can't hit a single target, as I already found out with a much higher set of ships on my other account. So why is some of the new "tech" in the game, not trickled down to make it into the beginning? Surely you can swap the 8 year old hulls out for something that is say 4-5 years old. Reduce the build times from 5d to maybe 1d so that new players can enjoy it.
I've played a ton of games over the years. The start of a game is meant to be fun. You spend hours when you first start. you research all kinds of new stuff, you figure out how the game plays, how to use the controls, then slowly the times increase because you get better stuff and it takes longer. But coming back to this, it wasn't like that at all. I played for maybe just less than an hour. then everything was like 4-5 hours to complete. ships already at 1/2 a day to build. and I didn't even really get to do anything.
Then Kixeye gives out free fleets and a dock upgrade. For a starting player, these would be way too overpowered. I went from struggling to actually hit anything, to now demolishing everything. I walked through a bunch of campaigns, finished T1-T4 in the FM, and had a bunch of T5 stuff. I could see blueprints that were actually useful. I could build hulls that were from the last 4 years.
But now there's another issue. I have a base that is absolute garbage and can't keep out the new free fleets. Nor will it be able to for a LONG time because the research tech that doesn't take long to equip, only tickles the fleet. And anything new, takes a week to put on a turret.
So I'll keep playing around with this base as it has a fighting chance now due to free stuff. But my old base is a lost cause.
I would really love to see Kixeye redesign the start game. Move some of the old outdated tech into the beginning of the game. Some fresh hulls, maybe some fresh campaigns, reduce the times to research and build all of that beginning tech. So that new players actually have a chance to build and play. So they might be able to actually hit low end targets and do some of the FM without having to rely on alliances, or freebies from Kixeye. New salvages that give more resources. Maybe some low end drac bases that can be hit for small amounts of uranium, titanium, and/or base parts. Something for low end players. Scrap all this old tech. Seriously, when was the last time someone actually put DU armor on their hulls? Or used any of the level 1 or 2 research specials? None of that stuff is any good. It was outdated 5 years ago.
Or maybe scrap a bunch of the old hulls/specials/weapons that are taking up space in our inventories, and give us some outdated blueprints and build tokens, so that maybe some of us returning players actually have something we can use.
Like I said, I'm sure this will go no where, most won't read it, and it'll get buried in the archives, but as a returning player, I was really hoping that the game had changed and was actually still fun again. I would love to see new players enjoy it like I used to when it first came out. And seeing how nothing has changed and there's a whole disconnect from start game to actual gameplay, is a little concerning. Sad to see that Kix mostly gave up on new players and only worries about those who have stuck around throwing around coin.